Almost every Android manufacturer have their own custom user interface running on the Android devices that they manufacture. Even though custom UI is not really necessary for Android, it allows manufacturers to push their brand-specific features in order to make their Android devices different from competing Android devices in the market.
We all know that the custom skins developed by Android OEM’s starts to affect the performance of the device at some point and as the device starts to get old, the UI starts to lag as well. We also know that the pure stock Android experience, meaning the default Android user interface without any custom UI on top, is the best Android experience and the one that does not affect the performance of the device.
However, in recent years, many people are getting confused on the different platforms that Google has developed for Android. There are devices running Stock Android, Android One, and Android Go versions of the Android operating system.
Today we are here with a stock Android vs Android One vs Android Go comparison to give you a better idea of what the differences between these three Android platforms are.
What Is Stock Android?
The Android operating system is an open-source platform developed by Google. Every year, Google launches a new version of the Android operating system that incorporates new features and security patches.
The Stock Android user interface is the default interface of the Android operating system. As Android is manufacturer-independent, it does not come with any custom interface as default. Manufacturers can choose to offer their customers the stock Android experience or choose to add their own custom user interface separately on their Android devices.
Why most custom user interface starts to affect the performance of Android devices is because it is not as deeply designed to make maximum utilization of Android as the stock Android interface. Moreover, the stock Android interface usually skips on many cosmetic UI elements and software features that most of the custom user interfaces for Android have. This helps in consuming fewer hardware resources while powering the stock Android UI and thus exhibits fewer performance issues.
The Stock Android interface can only be found on devices released by Google Pixel, Moto. Earlier, the stock Android interface was found on Nexus devices and now we can also find stock Android on Pixel devices as well.
What Is Android One?
The Android One platform was launched back in 2014. The Android One platform is not any different from the regular Android operating system that we all are familiar with, and in fact, features a nearly stock Android experience as well.
With the Android One platform, Google intended to make Android more popular in the emerging markets worldwide. And how would they do that?Well, with the Android One platform, Google will take the burden of software development from manufacturers in the emerging markets. Which means that manufacturers had to focus only on the hardware part of their devices whereas Google would take care of all the software-related features, including pushing Android updates to devices under the Android One platform for up to three years.
In this way, OEM’s in the emerging markets could spend less on the software-side of their products and price their Android devices less than normal making it more affordable to everyone. It is said that Google charges OEM’s for the software support provided under the Android One program, but it sure would be cheaper than doing it on their own.
Since then, the Android One platform has grown from just focusing on cheaper manufacturers. Today, manufacturers like Nokia use the Android One platform to bring a nearly stock Android experience on their devices.
What Is Android Go?
While Android One expanded from the initial plan of supporting only lower-end Android devices, Google introduced the Android Go platform.
Android Go is basically a new iteration of what Android One was initially planned for. Android Go was announced back in 2017 and is specially developed to comfortably run on devices with 1GB RAM or less.
To achieve efficient performance on such low-end hardware, Google has basically redeveloped all its services for Android to contain only the most required features. Also, devices running on the Android Go platform won’t be able to download any applications from the Play Store. Only applications that are specially developed for the Android Go platform will be shown in the Play Store and only such apps will run on devices powered by Android Go.
Unlike Android One, Google does not take charge of developing or releasing Android Go for each and every manufacturer. Android Go software releases are done the same way normal Android software release happens.
Which is the best: Stock Android vs Android One vs Android Go?
The stock Android experience happens to be the best Android experience of all. As the stock Android interface is only available on Google devices, the software is well-optimized for the hardware on Google devices, which makes using the stock Android interface a breeze.
However, the Android One platform offers almost the same experience as stock Android along with some manufacturer-dependent software features. The overall experience of Android One is very much the same as stock Android. So, if you do not prefer the hardware offered by Google but still want to experience a stock Android experience, you can go ahead and pick an Android device from any manufacturer running the Android One platform on their devices.
When it comes to Android Go, it is a different story. Android Go, as mentioned above, is a completely different Android experience where the entire operating system, its features, and applications are reduced in size and functionality to perform well on the really low-end hardware. The Android Go experience may not be preferred by all, but if you are out for the cheapest Android experience available, then Android Go devices are your best option.
Are you using a stock Android, Android One, or Android Go device currently? Then do leave your experience of the Android software on your device as comments below.